The fourth and final identity in our series is that of saint. Remember, we can’t properly understand what this life is about and what we’re supposed to do unless we first know who we are.
“I am” always precedes and determines “I will.”
By better understanding who we are, we can better understand how to act in the situations, locations, and relationships of everyday life. So who are we?
Creature. Sinner. Sufferer. Saint.
Identity #4 - Saint
Modern usage has lost the original intent of its meaning. Most people who hear the word saint think of someone like Mother Teresa, Martin Luther, or Martin Luther King Jr. and then respond, “I’ll never be one of those.”
Saint in the Bible does not connote someone who has reached a nearly divine level of character and influence. Saint isn’t shorthand for “forever revered Christian hero.”
We need to reclaim the word saint.
In the Bible saint is shorthand for those who have been rescued, redeemed, and forgiven and are being restored by the grace that is theirs because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
In other words, by biblical definition, all true believers in Jesus Christ are saints.
Saints aren’t perfect; they’re simply those who have been redeemed. No saint has ever been so righteous as to earn God’s love. No saint has reached such perfection of character that he or she has no more need of God’s forgiveness. No saint will ever be with God in eternity on the basis of his or her own merit.
On the contrary, saints:
- Do dumb things
- Step over God’s boundaries
- Say they believe but then don’t live as though they do
- Fall into thinking that they’re smarter than God
You see, the glory of being a saint is not what you have done or are doing, but what God has done and is doing for you.
But there is more. Being a saint welcomes you out from fear. Being a saint means you don’t have to deny responsibility, shift the blame, run and hide, or be paralyzed with guilt when you’ve made a mess.
Why? Because saints know that everything that could ever be known about them has been fully covered by the blood of Jesus.
In your darkest moments of foolishness, you can run into God’s presence assured of his forgiveness and help. You can rest assured, knowing that all your sins—past, present, and future—have been forgiven. And you can go to sleep each night knowing that there is simply no trouble that lives beyond the reach of the power of God’s amazing grace.
The primary hope of every saint is that God’s grace and wisdom bless them with the promise of fresh starts and new beginnings. As one of God’s saints, you are not hopeless or helpless, because the Author of reliable hope and the source of true help is now your Father.
Saints commit to following God’s purpose and living for his glory, but when they fall short, they don’t give way to humiliation, desperation, and personal recrimination. Instead, with hope and courage, they get up, dust themselves off, seek God’s forgiveness, rescue, and empowerment, and determine to grow in their commitment to live God’s way.
Saints keep marching!
Paul David Tripp
- Who are some fellow saints whom you would call your "heroes" of the Christian faith? How have these people (past or present) pointed you to Christ?
- What are some practical ways that you can leave a legacy, pointing people to Jesus - the only true Hero of Christianity.
- Identify some recent examples which revealed that you are still an imperfect saint.
- When these imperfections were revealed, did you attempt to hide, justify, or shift the blame?
- How can you be more transparent and humble about your saintly imperfections? How can you practically dust yourself off and seek God's forgiveness, rescue, and empowerment?